The resources sector in Queensland has, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), contributed 80 per cent of the state's $83.3 billion exports value in the 12 months leading to February 2020.
The $66 billion worth of exports from the state’s resources sector is expected to buffer the economy from Covid-19 in the months to follow.
“While it’s very encouraging to see the resources sector contributing 80 percent or $66 billion to Queensland’s exports, it’s important we recognise that in the months ahead we’ll see headwinds as slower demand takes hold from a contracting world economy,” said Queensland Resources Council CEO, Ian Macfarlane.
“Covid-19 impacts were yet to evolve in February. Indeed, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern on January 30 and WHO did not declare it a pandemic until March 11,” he said.
Queensland’s exports value maintained a steady rate, only decreasing by 0.1 per cent ($98.6 million) from the previous year.
Coal maintained the largest 'non-confidentialised' export value for the state at $35.1 billion, while minerals exports saw a 6 per cent increase to $8.36 billion.
The state’s largest export destination was China, taking in $28.6 billion of Queensland exports.
“While we are seeing these strong numbers in the first quarter of this year, the industry is watching how our key trading partners in Asia, Europe and North America manage the economic fallout from Covid-19,” said Macfarlane.
“Both the state and federal governments have defined the resources sector as an ‘essential’ industry to keep people working and Treasurer Jackie Trad told ABC Radio [earlier this month] the resources sector was doing its part by keeping people employed and ensuring revenue is flowing into the state.”
Australia’s overall export value was $388.4 billion during the 12-month period, marking a 10 per cent increase from the previous interval.
Western Australia contributed to almost half of Australia’s overall export value, achieving $180.6 billion, according to the ABS.